No, I don’t mean the fish. I’m talking MMOs.
If you skim over my last few posts you’ll get the feeling that I’m bored again with my latest MMO of choice, World of Warcraft.
Well, I started a character in around Christmas time and I’m already max level, have a complete set of purples for one spec, nearly two and I’ve even started collecting purples for my PVP set. I’ve raided most of the content but feel no urge to continue into Ulduar.
I’m looking for the dungeon delving experience. I want a big deep dungeon that you can go into five times and still be finding new areas. Very few MMOs released now have dungeons like this, in fact, I’ve yet to see one since Vanguard came out and before that it was EQ. And I don’t count dungeons that are max level – I want the opportunity to experience this early.
I want a challenge too. Far too many game designers and developers are catering towards solo players and neglecting group experiences. I’m not saying exclude solo content, I’m just saying it shouldn’t be the majority of your content for a game genre that used to be about gathering people together to fill roles and stepping into deep, dark and dangerous places.
Give me triple Ds!
I want chance of failure. I don’t want to be handed everything. I don’t want to artificially make things more difficult, I want to play the game as it was intended, be challenged and have a good time. I want there to be a risk; that’s part of the fun, part of the adventure!
What’s adventurous about going to the park and not being able to play on the climber or climb a tree? Where’s the adventure in standing outside some woods looking in but never exploring?
Where’s the fun in zipping through a, so called, dungeon in 30 minutes and having seen all of it?
It can be fun for awhile, until you start to realize you’re splashing around in a kiddie pool instead of swimming in the ocean.
I’m looking at you guys, you game designers… design something large, complex, filled with puzzles, traps and locations of notes. Add in some named mobs that don’t just exchange blows with the tank. Heck, make terrain part of the challenge.
Sure it’s easier to design than implement, but implementing it will make you stand out.
Don’t forget the people that play these games because they love the concept of gathering some friends around them, building a group and delving into a dungeon to explore, get beat up, get lost, be challenged and face the risk of loss. These are the people that play the game because it reminds them of sitting around a table with friends, pretending to be a warrior, priest, rogue or wizard while tossing some dice to determine what the results are.
It’s like I’m paying to play in one great big padded room where I can’t get hurt, there is no risk and if stub a toe there is someone in a white uniform to examine it and give me a pain killer.
Try this, think about a dungeon in a MMO and see what you remember first. Try it for other MMOs.
I thought to myself, “Cazic-Thule maze” and a ton of images and memories popped into my head. All sort of good times and that was a long time ago.
I then tried the same thing, “Uldaman” and my first thought was, “Two-manned it until we got to the bottom and saw we needed three to open the door… then we three-manned it.” Most of my WoW instance memories are just, “Yeah, did it some loot dropped which was replaced in the next dungeon.”
Guk? I think of all the time exploring, the excitement of seeing the Minotaur Lord spawn and kick our butts because we were already fighting five other mobs, the elemental room, the Ghoul Lord, the false floors, giggling at a SK friend who we brought down there for his first time and he completely paniced, got lost, was terrified of my pulling skills…
“Gunbad,” the WAR dungeon, I think of everyone throwing themselves off the top to see how far down they could get and reaching the very bottom with some big mob there. The delve was fun, even though it was a warband of guildies, but that made the memory more than the content. Those folks were fun.
The memories. WoW seems more like a checklist and to be fair, most other MMOs now seem like that. My memories of EQ2 are pretty similar to WoW with the odd exception because there was a guy who just stood out when you were grouping with him and I chuckle everytime I think about his Gnome Brigand drowning in a puddle in the sewers. Hehehe.
LOTRO? It appears to have potential, but I’m not sure when the dungeons start. I’ve explored a spider cave that was neat, but quite small and soloable. Moria looks big, but it also seems to be much higher level.
VG had some great dungeons, you just leveled so fast you didn’t get to spend too much time in them (and it was pretty easy). Vol Tuniel was a lot of fun, delving right down through to the Salamanders or up to one of the named in a great big throne-like room. Greystone, Trengal Keep, Nuisbe Necropolis… good stuff.